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Custom Hand Engraved Solid Sterling Silver & Blued Steel
Trophy-Style Belt Buckle "Ranch Hand"
w/Gold, Platinum, & Fossil Ivory

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Custom Hand Engraved Sterling Silver, Steel, & Gold Belt Buckle

Close-Up of Belt Buckle | Angled Close-Up of Belt Buckle | Detail of Banner | Detail of Cowboy | Detail of Dog & Quail
Close-up of Back of Belt Buckle

 

Back of Engraved Sterling Silver, Steel, & Gold Belt Buckle
Back of Buckle

This amazing and truly unique engraved belt buckle, commissioned by a Texas buckle collector, is an unusual composite of materials, as well as new design and subject territory for Neil. This customer knows how to order a buckle. He left the theme, design and layout largely to Neil, allowing him to utilize his strong card: pictorial design. Neil loves the process of composition, and this was a particularly fun one, partly because he was asked to also infuse some more personal philosophy.

It depicts a ranch hand resting in his saddle watching the sunset over the canyon. A small covey of quail take up, while his horse keeps an eye on his trusty border collie checking out the quail hiding in the brush/scroll work in the lower right-hand corner. Yuccas, prickly pears, and a scrawny tree complete the scene. The back of the buckle shows him sleeping surrounded by all the trappings of his trade; saddle, rifle and scabbard, lariat, colt 45, boots, hat, spurs, his tarp and blanket, and his dog.

The buckle is handcrafted and has four main sections or layers: two sheets of blued steel - a smaller piece in the front, and a larger piece in the back, the partial frame in sterling silver on the lower front, and the sterling silver bail on the back of the buckle. He overlaid 18K white gold for the banner and rose gold for the flower-scroll above it. The varying colors in the rays of the sunset are flush inlaid 18K rose gold, 24K yellow gold, and platinum. Platinum was also used for the river. All other line-inlay is 24K yellow gold. Neil carved the white flowers for the yuccas on both sides out of fossil ivory. The layering of the materials and the inlay/overlay can be seen in the angled close-up view. Neil used miniature stainless steel screws to assemble the many layers of metal.
The bail is intentionally angled to compensate for the elliptical shape a cinched belt.

Neil is the first to admit that he's not a cowboy, he's a craftsman. Yet, as an independent craftsman, the buckle demonstrates what he feels he shares with the cowboy - an independent spirit and a great appreciation for the outdoors and the American West. As a craftsman, he has traded security for independence, much like the cowboy. The biblical quote (Matthew 6:34) on the back represents this sentiment. He prepares for tomorrow through the trappings of his trade, yet takes each day as it comes.

 

Custom Hand Engraved Trophy-Style Belt Buckle, Handcrafted
"Ranch Hand" item # "sengr.tb.ranchhand1.aug08"
Solid Sterling Silver, Blued Steel, 18K Red & White Gold, 24K Gold, Platinum, & Fossil Ivory
Approx. Overall Size 3½" x 2½" (90mm x 64mm)


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